- Institutions like devdasis etc, who have often been integral to the survival of many of our ancient art forms had no equivalent in the western culture and got generalized to prostitution with all its connotations of sin and worthy of punishment, etc etc. Exploitation increased, and we shut these people down ‘for their own good’. Yet, today, if a group of people is exploited, the general idea is to protect them, create laws, awareness, etc etc.
- Prostitutes themselves used to serve an important function in society. Sex. Men want sex. (women want it too, but that’s a whole other article). They can get it from wives, if they are married. They can get it from girlfriends if they have one. They can coerce some female into having sex with them (which is rape – reported or not). The urge is fundamental. Prostitutes were a way of getting that need fulfilled legitimately, without being ashamed of having a bodily function. Today, most men are so focused on sex, that finding a life partner is more about the highlight of being able to have sex than a sharing of lives. We can never get rid of prostitution, but we punished them for our desires that we had “discovered” were sin. We made them illegal. If they didn’t exist, men wouldn’t be immoral, you see!
- Followers of the Yellamma cult who essentially renounce their lives to willing service of society – no holds barred. This can be helping you out in the fields or sex – whatever. Whatever the people need. In a way it is a profound thought. Soul deep service. Just because it happens that men want a sexual service more often than anything else (surprise!), they got called prostitutes. Frustrated men often abused these people, and they are now illegal ‘for their own good’.
- Eunuchs. Okay, we used to have eunuchs in regular society. In fact, some traditional roles were meant for eunuchs – like guarding harems for instance. They were considered auspicious. Suddenly forms started worrying about Mr/Mrs and they vanished only to reappear at street signals. Then, we started hating them for being leeches on our precious money as though anyone forces you to pay them. Oh wait, they did. They needed money to survive. They did force and threaten to expose themselves. Now they are criminals. Or they come and do vulgar dances at festive occasions and gullible orthodox people pay them. They should take jobs and become productive citizens of society. So, how many eunuchs did you hire in your professional career?
- One man marries one woman. This used to not necessarily be the case. Men used to have many wives, and until very recent decades, women in the Lahaul Spiti region used to marry all the brothers in a family (except one who became a monk) in order to keep population low and maximize family resources and prevent division of limited cultivable land. Banned. That is immoral somehow. As a side effect, a man can marry a woman, go to a city for work, marry another, and whenever he gets fed up of her, walk away. Their marriage is not legal, since he was already married before.
- The gay thingy. How is it anyone’s business what people do with each other as long as they do you no harm? About the gay “thingy”, I think the Hindu Marriage Act doesn’t actually state that marriage must happen between a man and woman. Any lawyer with an opinion?
- Oh how I wish if we had to import sexual attitudes because ours weren’t up to gora standards, we had imported them from a country like France, where your sexuality is a celebrated part of you and not something to be uniformed away. Take for example that easy kiss in greeting, which could be totally meaningless, or it could send a delightful tingle through you, because you recognize that you are in the company of an attractive person. Compare that with the “platonic friends” and monogamous dating we see in India, where dating already seems to equate an engagement in social terms.
Founder at Aam Janata
Vidyut has a keen interest in mass psychology and using it as a lens to understand contemporary politics, social inequality and other dynamics of power within the country. She is also into Linux and internet applications and servers and has sees technology as an important area India lacks security in.
Latest posts by Vidyut (see all)
- Open letter to the Chief Justice of India - April 13, 2019
- Nationwide Protest by NREGA workers #NREGASangharshMorcha - March 2, 2019
- Repression of Activists cannot stop the second Kisan Long March - February 16, 2019